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Thread: Cartridge filter drawbacks??

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Toledo, OH

    Cartridge filter drawbacks??

    We are new pool owners, on our 3rd summer. Starting to think about getting serious from the intex with a semi inground install of a 27-30 pool. I am trying to do all the research I can in my (like most of us) very limited spare time. From what I think I have learned a cartridge filter will "filter" finer particals than a sand filter and also I won't waste balanced water backwashing.

    What drawbacks am I missing? Why is it every local pools shop (other than 1 big one) is recommending a sand filter?
    The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there.

    24' x 52" Intex ultra frame pool (12,400 gallons) with seperate Intex 2500gph pump and SWG and 2 Intex magnetic pool lights.
    Looking to upgrade to 27-30' semi inground install

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Cartridge filter drawbacks??

    People tend to get set in their ways and recommend what they are familiar with. And what they are familiar with often clumps together by region due to historical accident. All of which is a fancy way of saying that the fact that all the stores recommend sand doesn't mean anything.

    Cartridge filters tend to be just slightly more expensive than sand in the long run because you need to replace the cartridges occasionally (every several years). Some people don't like cleaning cartridges, which is more work than backwashing sand, but not all that much work. Other than that, they are quite nice, especially if you get a nice large filter so you aren't cleaning the cartridges very often.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Cartridge filter drawbacks??

    When I had cart, I hated cleaning it. Tedious and time consuming. Like anything else with pools, thing vary with the specifics of your situation.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  4. Back To Top    #4
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Cartridge filter drawbacks??

    From what I have read on this and other forums, usually when someone does not like their cartridge filter, it is because it was sized too small and they ended up cleaning it way too often. That would turn me off to a cartridge as well.

    I have a cartridge filter and now going on 6 years with the same cartridges. To me the key for a good cartridge experience is to get a very large filter. This allows me to clean them only 1-2 times per year and because of infrequent cleaning, the filters last longer.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Akron, Ohio

    Re: Cartridge filter drawbacks??

    The cleaning can be a pain during startup. When I bought new cartridges, I kept the old ones just for the startup period. If I don't have time to clean them immediately on removal, I toss them in my 96gal trash can with water (don't forget about them!).

    I too was considering a sand filter, but my makeup water is from a well and I get paranoid about the softener not doing it's job or accidentally expending the resin (in which I would start getting iron into the pool). So, backflushing is just not optimal for me.
    30K gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, 300 sqft cartridge filter, 250BTU/hr hayward heater.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Flower Mound, TX

    Re: Cartridge filter drawbacks??

    The only drawback that I can see with a cart is that it is much easier to develop an excess amount of CYA and calcium since there is usually not a way to send water to waste. If you pay attention to what you add to your pool though, this will not be an issue.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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